Croaking out a Sermon


On this wet dark day in the darkest month our local Canada Geese feed on the  wetlands near Walmart. What could they find to eat on these dead brown grasslands? The birds work hard, long necks curved toward dead grass bent low by a heavy snow load then shaped by equinox tides.  They move slowly away on foot when we join them on the wetlands then take off in a noisy cloud. Exploring the vacated ground Aki and I find long fingers of geese scat decorating newly sprouted grant shoots. Do these plants act wisely or have they fallen for the false promise of spring delivered by this mid-winter thaw?

ImageFragments of clouds appear to catch on the spruce covered hills that form a barrier between sea and the Juneau Ice Field. One mimics a human face.

Moving closer to Gasteneau Channel we pass tiny sand or gravel beaches randomly spaced over bent grass, each rode here locked in ice that once formed over nearby Lemon Creek then melted in place. Their random placement breaks the grassland flow, robbing the place of its tiny beauty.

ImageThe rain picks up as does the wind so I am drawn to a small spruce covered island rising just above the grass flats.  Pushing between two spruce limbs we enter a hollow space formed by a circle of spruce, its dark flat floor dotted with worn  feathers of a juvenile bald eagle. A four foot long spruce log, stripped of bark, given perpendicular edges by a saw, tipped on end, offers an altar for any presider. Outside a raven croaks from driftwood perch as another keeps watch. Image

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